Posts filed under For The Home

20 Alternatives to Store-Bought Cleaning Products

People with allergies and sensitive skin know what a pain it can be to deal with cleaning products. Cleaning products generally involve harsh chemicals and other ingredients like propylene glycol. Even the products that are supposed to be more gentle and natural may contain hidden ingredients... not to mention that the word "natural" literally isn't defined by organizations such as the FDA. 

With a few basic ingredients, you can eliminate those problems with a little DIY! For example, I've used vinegar to clean our windows, counter tops, coffee maker and even the dish washer. Another good one is to throw some lemon chunks in the garbage disposal to freshen it up. I love cleaning solutions like that! So, I did a little bit of par-oozing around the internet and...

Here are 20 other DIY cleaning solutions that look pretty awesome:

How To Clean a Wooden Cutting Board

Disinfecting Kitchen Spray

Glass & Stainless Steel Cleaner

DIY Soft Scrub

Grapefruit - Salt Bathtub Scrub

Sage All-Purpose Spray

Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

Peppermint Toilet Bombs

Beeswax Wood Polish

Copper Cookware Cleaner

Air Freshener

Grease-Cutting Floor Cleaner

Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner

Tile and Grout Cleaner

Lemon Lavender Dishwasher Tablets

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Microwave Cleaner

Liquid DIshwasher Soap

Fabric Softener

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Do you have any go-to DIY cleaners?

The Best House Plants for People with Allergies

I don't know about you, but I loooove me some plants. Every year, my husband and I grow an outdoor vegetable garden. It's one of our absolute favorite things to do :-D

But indoor plants? Those present a problem for me because dirt sitting around with water in it = the perfect place for mold to live. I used to love having a couple big potted plants inside my home, but if you have big pots like that... you know the dirt needs to be tended to and replaced every now and then and you have to massage the roots when you do that and blah blah blah. If you don't tend to it, your pretty potted plant may start sneakily growing said mold.

Then there's the pollen side of things: If you're allergic to pollen, you should avoid growing flowers inside your home. Womp, womp. 

That's ok, though, because there are other options! I did a bit of searching around for house plants that can survive with little water. These containers for these plants are much less at risk for growing mold.

Here are my top six:

(Click the names to learn more about each plant)

  1. ponytail palm
  2. snake plant
  3. air plants
  4. cactus
  5. zz plant
  6. hen and chicks

Do you have a favorite house plant that survives on little water?

Round-up of Allergy Friendly Handheld Vacuums

A BIG part of keeping your home clear of allergens is vacuuming. Whether you're trying to get rid of dust or pet hair, it's important to do it regularly.

If not, you may end up:

  • congested
  • sneezy
  • itchy
  • or with red / watery eyes

No bueno!

I did a blog post about allergy friendly vacuums, but I don't always want to drag out our full size Hoover Elite Rewind (which has a HEPA filter and pet friendly tools). Having a handheld option that can take care of our furniture and any small jobs is KEY.

We have the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (first one in the slides) and LOVE it. The rubbery nubs on the end really help get pet hair off of the couch. Even if the pets aren't on the couch, their tiny hairs still end up on the upholstery! Little stinkers...

Below is a round-up of eleven different handheld vacuums to help banish those allergens of yours:


Do you have your own handheld that you love?

Please share! Post up in the comments!

What's The Deal With Himalayan Salt Lamps?

While making your way around the allergy product world, you may have come across salt lamps, specifically the pink kind: Himalayan Salt.

I've seen them around for a while, but didn't always know they supposedly have health benefits. I've always thought they were pretty neat  - they're beautiful and I love any sort of low lighting - so soothing!

Himalayan salt lamps usually look like one huge chunk of pink salt with a light inside it or a bowl of salt chunks with a light at the bottom:

People say that these lamps purify air inside your home due to the negative ions they release. Also, these negative ions are said to leave you feeling refreshed and balanced... the feeling is often compared to what it feels like standing next to a waterfall or bathing in the sun... both of which are (usually) pretty soothing.

So, I did a bit of research. Let's break it down:


Why should we care about negative ions?

There are negative and positive ions already in our air. People say that electronics produce so many positive ions that they throw off the balance in our indoor environments. By adding more negative ions into the mix, we in turn feel more balanced. Also, negative ions help purify the air... lessening allergens!

There was actually a study done on purifying the air (the testing was done with aerosol spray) and it looks like negative ions really ARE beneficial for air quality!

You can read more about that study here.


Do himalayan salt lamps really release negative ions?

Yes, when the light is on, Himalayan salt will release negative ions (and it sweats a little too as it draws moisture from the air).... BUT not nearly as many as the electronic machines which are made specifically to create negative ions. Many say that these salt lamps create such a small amount of negative ions that doesn't even make a difference. You'll find a much higher amount just by going outdoors.


Can they actually affect people in a positive way?

That's up for debate. Science seems to say that you'd need one lamp per six/eight square feet for them to actually be effective. It seems like more people have had a positive experience with it improving their mood and calming their minds... whether it's due to the negative/positive ions being put back in the air or because soft, glowing light is soothing.

I'm open to trying it, though. When purchasing one of these lamps, it's important to make sure that it's made out of 100% pure Himalayan salt and not just some ol' chunk of salt. At this point, I don't have any good place to put a new lamp but at the next chance I get... I might just snag one!


Have you tried one?

Noticed any benefits?


Sources: Go Lb. Salt, Negative Ions Information, Stack Exchange, Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research, Dr. Leonard Coldwell, Wellness Mama, Salt Lamp King